Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System, Oklahoma City, would receive a cash infusion and have some investment restrictions lifted under provisions of two bills in the state Legislature. Both bills passed the state House and are expected to go before a Senate committee this week.
The first proposes an amendment to the state constitution to improve the $9 billion plans funded level currently at about 47% by directing all the proceeds from oil and gas taxes to the system until it reaches an 80% funded level. That measure would go before voters next fall.
Once the plan is 80% funded, the amendment would redirect the proceeds back to the permanent trust of the School Land Commission, where excess mineral income currently goes. Rep. Tad Jones, one of the bills sponsors, said that if the bill becomes law, it could face legal challenges from opponents who argue that funding the plan does not contribute explicitly to education. The bill claims that the plans funding status is essential to the maintenance of common schools and higher education institutions in the state.
The other bill, also sponsored by Mr. Jones, would give the fund more investment freedom, he said. It would eliminate current restrictions that limit investments to about 60% domestic equities and 40% fixed income.
Tom Beavers, executive director of the fund, was not available at press time for comment.